Canavan Disease

By: Trent Fulton

What is Canavan Disease?

Canavan Disease is a disease passed down from family members. This disease causes progressive nerve damage to the brain. Canavan is in one of the groups of genetic disorders called Leukodystrophies. Leukodystophies are caracterized by degeneration the fatty covering that insulates nerves fibers,called myelin

How common is Canavan Disease?

Canavan disease is most common in people of Ashkenazi Jewish Heritage, in eastern and central part of Europe. Studies show the amount of people in the eastern and central part of Europe with this disease is 1 in 6,400-13,500. The amount of people with Canavan in other parts of the world are unknown

How does Canavan Disease occure?

Canavan disease occures when a mutation is formed in a gene link, witch makes the brain degenerate into a spongy tissue riddled with microscopic fluid-filled spaces. Recent research has indicated that "the cells in the brain responsible for making myein sheaths, known as oligodendrocytes, cannot properly complete this critical developmental task". Whensomeone has Canavan disease, many oligodendrocytes die and not be able to mature as they normally do.